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[Online] Tunnel Engineering

Guest Editors-in-Chief 
Mengshu Wang, Chinese Academy of Engineering, China
Martin C Knight, CH2M, UK
Executive Associate Editors
Jinxiu Yan, China Railway Academy, China
Ray L Sterling, Louisiana Tech University, US
Baosong Ma, China University of Geosciences (Wu Han), China
Chungsik Yoo, Sung Kuyn Kwan University, South Korea
Daniele Peila, Politecnico di Torin, Italy
Ed Taylor, John Holland, Australia
Einar Broch, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Eric Leca, Arcardis, France
Hongwei Huang, Tongji University, China
Huawu He,Chinese Academy of Engineering, China
Kairong Hong, State Key Laboratory of Shield Machine and Boring Technology, China
Markus Thewes, Ruhr-Universit?t Bochum, Germany
Matthias Neuenschwander, Neuenschwander Consulting Engineers, Switzerland
Mingliang Pan,China Railway Tunnel Group Co., Ltd, China
Randall J. Essex, Mott MacDonald, US
Rick Lovat, Independent Expert, Canada
Tarcisio Celestino, Themag Engenharia, Brazil
Yonghong Wang, Beijing Jiaotong University, China
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A Closer Look at the Design of Cutterheads for Hard Rock Tunnel-Boring Machines
Jamal Rostami, Soo-Ho Chang
Engineering    2017, 3 (6): 892-904.
Abstract   PDF (5003KB)

The success of a tunnel-boring machine (TBM) in a given project depends on the functionality of all components of the system, from the cutters to the backup system, and on the entire rolling stock. However, no part of the machine plays a more crucial role in the efficient operation of the machine than its cutterhead. The design of the cutterhead impacts the efficiency of cutting, the balance of the head, the life of the cutters, the maintenance of the main bearing/gearbox, and the effectiveness of the mucking along with its effects on the wear of the face and gage cutters/muck buckets. Overall, cutterhead design heavily impacts the rate of penetration (ROP), rate of machine utilization (U), and daily advance rate (AR). Although there has been some discussion in commonly available publications regarding disk cutters, cutting forces, and some design features of the head, there is limited literature on this subject because the design of cutterheads is mainly handled by machine manufacturers. Most of the design process involves proprietary algorithms by the manufacturers, and despite recent attention on the subject, the design of rock TBMs has been somewhat of a mystery to most end-users. This paper is an attempt to demystify the basic concepts in design. Although it may not be sufficient for a full-fledged design by the readers, this paper allows engineers and contractors to understand the thought process in the design steps, what to look for in a proper design, and the implications of the head design on machine operation and life cycle.

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Typical Underwater Tunnels in the Mainland of China and Related Tunneling Technologies
Kairong Hong
Engineering    2017, 3 (6): 871-879.
Abstract   PDF (4415KB)

In the past decades, many underwater tunnels have been constructed in the mainland of China, and great progress has been made in related tunneling technologies. This paper presents the history and state of the art of underwater tunnels in the mainland of China in terms of shield-bored tunnels, drill-and-blast tunnels, and immersed tunnels. Typical underwater tunnels of these types in the mainland of China are described, along with innovative technologies regarding comprehensive geological prediction, grouting-based consolidation, the design and construction of large cross-sectional tunnels with shallow cover in weak strata, cutting tool replacement under limited drainage and reduced pressure conditions, the detection and treatment of boulders, the construction of underwater tunnels in areas with high seismic intensity, and the treatment of serious sedimentation in a foundation channel of immersed tunnels. Some suggestions are made regarding the three potential great strait-crossing tunnels—the Qiongzhou Strait-Crossing Tunnel, Bohai Strait-Crossing Tunnel, and Taiwan Strait-Crossing Tunnel—and issues related to these great strait-crossing tunnels that need further study are proposed.

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Universal Method for the Prediction of Abrasive Waterjet Performance in Mining
Eugene Averin
Engineering    2017, 3 (6): 888-891.
Abstract   PDF (281KB)

Abrasive waterjets (AWJs) can be used in extreme mining conditions for hard rock destruction, due to their ability to effectively cut difficult-to-machine materials with an absence of dust formation. They can also be used for explosion, intrinsic, and fire safety. Every destructible material can be considered as either ductile or brittle in terms of its fracture mechanics. Thus, there is a need for a method to predict the efficiency of cutting with AWJs that is highly accurate irrespective of material. This problem can be solved using the energy conservation approach, which states the proportionality between the material removal volume and the kinetic energy of AWJs. This paper describes a method based on this approach, along with recommendations on reaching the most effective level of destruction. Recommendations are provided regarding rational ranges of values for the relation of abrasive flow rate to water flow rate, standoff distance, and size of abrasive particles. I also provide a parameter to establish the threshold conditions for a material’s destruction initiation based on the temporary-structural approach of fracture mechanics.

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Key Technologies and Applications of the Design and Manufacturing of Non-Circular TBMs
Jianbin Li
Engineering    2017, 3 (6): 905-914.
Abstract   PDF (4190KB)

With the rapid development of the exploitation of underground space, more and more large- or superlarge-diameter tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) are being employed to construct underground space projects. At present, because conventional circular TBMs cannot completely meet the requirements of underground space exploitation regarding the cross-section and space-utilization ratio, non-circular TBMs, which are the tunneling equipment for an ideal cross-section, have become the new market growth point. This paper first presents the technical features and development status of non-circular TBMs. Next, in reference to typical projects and technological innovation, this paper investigates key techniques including shield design optimization, multi-cutterhead excavation, special-shaped segment erection, and soil conditioning in loess strata for a rectangular pipe-jacking machine and a horseshoe-shaped TBM, in order to provide a set of feasible solutions for the design, manufacture, and construction of non-circular TBMs. Relevant engineering practice shows that non-circular TBMs with customized design and manufacture have great advantages in terms of construction schedule, settlement control, and space utilization.

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Lake Mead Intake No. 3
Jon Hurt, Claudio Cimiotti
Engineering    2017, 3 (6): 880-887.
Abstract   PDF (1872KB)

As a result of a sustained drought in the Southwestern United States, and in order to maintain existing water capacity in the Las Vegas Valley, the Southern Nevada Water Authority constructed a new deepwater intake (Intake No. 3) located in Lake Mead. The project included a 185 m deep shaft, 4.7 km tunnel under very difficult geological conditions, and marine works for a submerged intake. This paper presents the experience that was gained during the design and construction and the innovative solutions that were developed to handle the difficult conditions that were encountered during tunneling with a dualmode slurry tunnel-boring machine (TBM) in up to 15 bar (1 bar= 105 Pa) pressure. Specific attention is given to the main challenges that were overcome during the TBM excavation, which included the mode of operation, face support pressures, pre-excavation grouting, and maintenance; to the construction of the intake, which involved deep underwater shaft excavation with blasting using shaped charges; to the construction of the innovative over 1200 t concrete-and-steel intake structure; to the placement of the intake structure in the underwater shaft; and to the docking and connection to an intake tunnel excavated by hybrid TBM.

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Mechanized Tunneling in Soft Soils: Choice of Excavation Mode and Application of Soil-Conditioning Additives in Glacial Deposits
Rolf Zumsteg, Lars Langmaack
Engineering    2017, 3 (6): 863-870.
Abstract   PDF (2232KB)

The history of the formation of the alpine region is affected by the activities of the glaciers, which have a strong influence on underground works in this area. Mechanized tunneling must adapt to the presence of sound and altered rock, as well as to inhomogeneous soil layers that range from permeable gravel to soft clay sediments along the same tunnel. This article focuses on past experiences with tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) in Switzerland, and specifically on the aspects of soil conditioning during a passage through inhomogeneous soft soils. Most tunnels in the past were drilled using the slurry mode (SM), in which the application of different additives was mainly limited to difficult zones of high permeability and stoppages for tool change and modification. For drillings with the less common earth pressure balanced mode (EPBM), continuous foam conditioning and the additional use of polymer and bentonite have proven to be successful. The use of conditioning additives led to new challenges during separation of the slurries (for SM) and disposal of the excavated soil (for EPBM). If the disposal of chemically treated soft soil material from the earth pressure balanced (EPB) drive in a manner that is compliant with environmental legislation is considered early on in the design and evaluation of the excavation mode, the EPBM can be beneficial for tunnels bored in glacial deposits.

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